Pitch + Kvell: 2022 JFI Filmmakers in Residence

This event is free to attend via Zoom with registration

In Yiddish, the word kvell, which means “to be delighted,” is used to describe the feeling of bursting with pride at a loved one’s accomplishments. At this intimate online event, join the Jewish Film Institute in kvelling over JFI’s 2022 Filmmakers in Residence as they invite us to discover their works-in-progress.

Have you wondered what it takes to bring a film to the big screen? Experience a critical part of a film’s development as the Residents, who have taken their films to the next level in the yearlong JFI Filmmaker Residency, “pitch” their projects to some of the film industry's foremost experts on film development for feedback and advice. 

Pitch + Kvell is hosted by Peabody-winning filmmaker and educator Judith Helfand, who has worked all year long with the Residents to develop their pitches. The 2022 Pitch + Kvell panelists are Alana Hauser, Co-producer of Nonfiction Film and Television, The New York TimesHilla Medalia, Medalia Production Company; and Evan Neff, Documentary Fund Coordinator, Sundance Institute.

Annie Berman, In Berlin
In Berlin invites you to experience Berlin through the eyes of a Jewish artist, seeking an international creative utopia. Her travels slowly unearth the ghosts of an unreconciled past, just below the surface of the city, and of herself. 

Yael Bridge, Lost and Found in Guantanamo
A religious community survives decades of suppression to maintain its relevance and beauty.

Marisa Fox,  My Underground Mother
Double agent, freedom fighter, femme fatale — my mother claimed she had been all three. After her death, I discover a fourth persona.

Josh Freund and Sam Radutzky, Joyva
Two great-grandchildren of a Jewish refugee and entrepreneur are fighting to save their family’s century-old business, honor four generations of legacy, and uphold their company’s sacred role within Jewish American culture, all from a crumbling candy factory in Bushwick, Brooklyn. 

Simon Mendes, Wrestling with Legacy: The Carlebach Story
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was a spiritual and musical icon for 20th-century Jews. What will happen to his cherished legacy after posthumous sexual abuse allegations?

Marguerite Moritz, Hello Gorgeous: The Isobel Lennart Story
She created movie magic and her heartache inspired a Broadway legend. Now, the curtain goes up on the formidable woman behind Funny Girl, a film that forever altered the image of Jews and women on the silver screen.

Kit Vincent, Red Herring
In the midst of shocking family revelations, a young filmmaker is diagnosed with terminal cancer. What follows is an intimate and darkly humorous journey of a family’s attempt to make sense of their upended past and disrupted future.

The JFI Filmmaker Residency is the only dedicated artist development program in the United States that provides creative, marketing, and production support for emerging and established filmmakers whose documentary projects explore and expand thoughtful consideration of Jewish history, life, culture, and identity. 

Alana Hauser, Co-producer of Nonfiction Film and Television, The New York Times 
Alana Hauser spent five years at Sundance Institute managing Sundance Catalyst, which connects highly-anticipated documentary and fiction films with financiers, and Women at Sundance, which forges gender parity in media. 

Hilla Medalia, Founder, Medalia Production Company
Hilla Medalia is Peabody Award-winning producer and has received four Emmy® nominations. Her projects have garnered critical acclaim and screened internationally. Among them: Innocence; H2: The Occupation Lab; The Reason Why; Love & Stuff; Transkids; Leftover Women; The Oslo Diaries Muhi; Censored Voices; The Go Go Boys; Web Junkie; Dancing in Jaffa; and more. 

Evan Neff, Documentary Fund Coordinator, Sundance Institute
Evan Neff is a nonprofit arts professional with a background in documentary production, working to expand the breadth of stories in independent film to affirm and embrace underrepresented experiences through community-focused artist support. Evan produced Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green’s Don’t Call Me Gay Zelig (Whitney Biennial 2019), co-produced 32 Sounds (Sundance 2022) and associate-produced Peabody Award-nominated Storm Lake (Full Frame 2021) and A Thousand Thoughts (Sundance 2018).

Judith Helfand is a Peabody Award-winning director, producer, and educator. Her films include A HEALTHY BABY GIRL, BLUE VINYL, COOKED: SURVIVAL BY ZIP CODE and, most recently in 2020, LOVE & STUFF. A committed field-builder, Helfand co-founded Working Films in 1999, which is dedicated to using nonfiction storytelling to increase civic engagement and promote environmental and racial justice at the local, state, and national level. In 2005 she co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures, which supports women and gender non-conforming documentary filmmakers at critical stages in their careers with creative mentorship, community building, and funding, and for which she serves as a Senior Creative Consultant. Helfand is a master pitch trainer, serving as moderator/trainer for Chicken & Egg Pictures’, the Athena Festival Double Exposure Film Festival, and the Sheffield Film Festival. She lives and works in New York City.

Support for JFI's Filmmakers in Residence comes from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous individual donors.

Event Details

Tuesday December 13, 2022
3:30 p.m.
Register